Teaching puppy classes requires specific expertise, which as, a minimum, should include an in-depth knowledge of dogs, dog behaviour and learning theory. Most importantly, it requires a thorough understanding of puppies and their development process.
There are many organisations offering puppy classes in different formats. With this comes a number of variances that separates the many puppy schools available, both good and bad. Here are some of them:
1. The knowledge and experience of the instructor teaching the class
2. Course curriculum – what are you offering and what are you actually providing. Does it cover what it should?
3. Correct balance between teaching, socialising and selling products- is there too much play time or too much talking?
4. Outcome of the course ie. Have your clients actually come away learning something about their puppies, or worse still, have some puppies developed behavioural issues due to mis-management during the course?
The most important developmental period for puppies is between the ages of 5-16 weeks. We call this the Critical Period of Development because whatever happens (or doesn’t happen) during this time to the puppy, whether bad or good, is permanently imprinted in him or her forever. As such, the reality is that your puppy school program can literally ‘make or break’ a puppy’s future development.
A renowned dog behaviourist for many years in the UK, Dr Ian Dunbar, recommends that only the person with the highest degrees of knowledge, expertise and experience with puppies, should go anywhere near a puppy class.
Therefore since many puppy schools cater for puppies from 8-16 weeks of age, it would make sense that the program you are offering to your valued customers/clients is conducted by qualified trainers. How do you qualify your puppy trainers?
So why develop a course that covers all things “puppy classses”?
The Puppy School Instructor’s course is run by Trish Harris, who is a Victorian Govt approved dog trainer and has been directing Four Paws K9 Training for 15 years. The idea came about from Trish’s desire to properly educate the many individuals that currently run/instruct puppy classes, but who may not have any formal training on the subject. The course is also ideal for those who just want to improve their skills and knowledge of all things puppy.
About the Puppy School Instructor’s Course:
The course covers an array of topics to include:
- Puppy development periods
- Understanding socialisation, habituation and neutralisation processs
- Fear and aggression in puppies – what to do and how to work with them
- Understanding basic genetics
- Planning a course – what type of curriculum should be included
- Class instruction
- Socialisation activities – we cover an array of different activites you can organise
- Puppy health to include an indepth section on nutrition (non – brand specific)
- Learning theory – understand the concepts of learning to include motivatinal principles, schedules of reinforcements etc
- Problem behaviours – learn how to manage common puppy behaviours
- Techniques and methods for teaching obedience skills
The course is run over 4 sessions. Details are:
Theory Sessions 1,2 and 3:
Wednesday 6th, 13th and 20th April 2016
6.30pm to 8pm
Note: NO dogs for these sessions
Sydenham Community House
Level 1 Meeting room
Station Street, Taylors Lakes 3038
Practical Session (includes Nutrition session):
Sunday 24th April 2016
9.30am to *2pm
Note: Puppies and dogs will be needed for this session
* Finish times may vary
Keilor Views Primary School
Swindon Crescent, Keilor Downs 3038
Cost of course is:
$360 single participant
$300 for group of 5 or more people from the same organisation